Japanese Verb Conjugation Te-Form

by Buddy Lindsey


Today we are going to go over te-form’s. This is VERY important to the Japanese language because it leads to so very much. If there is one type of verb conjugation to learn and learn extremely well it would be this. For that reason this might be a bit long for some, but I just want to be sure that people can really get hold of te-form conjugation for verbs.

First though I want to let you know if you don’t know how to tell the difference between u-verbs and ru-verbs by now you can fake te-forms, but you really really need to understand the differences to get things right. Te-forms are the base of a pyramid, and if you falter later the whole thing will fall down. Now that I am done going on and on about their importance, and the fact I really really want to be sure you are good at understanding u-verbs and ru-verbs; lets move on to te-forms.

Since they are easy this time lets start with irregular verbs.

irregular verbs

Without fail if the last to characters of a verb are する or くる it is an irregular verb. If it is する change the すto し and add て to get して. Likewise if the last 2 characters are くる change the く to き and add て to get きて. Irregular verbs like normal are easy.

-> して
-> きて
つれてく -> つれてきて
もってく -> もってきて

All we did was change the す to し and add て. For く all we did was change it to き and add て.


Now time for ru-verbs. These are also easy as long as you know they are ru-verbs and not u-verbs. For ru-verbs all you do is drop the る and add て. How about we look at some examples.

あけ -> あけ
おしえ -> おしえ
しめ -> しめ
つけ -> つけ
わすれ-> わすれ

See fairly easy for the ru-verbs not to much there just replacing a character. Just remember not all verbs ending in ru are ru-verbs.


Time for the hardest of them all, they biggest pain in the rear end, but as with everything easy once you understand, u-verbs. These are best if you just see quite a few examples and read what is going on so for each i’ll add several examples. Be sure to read the description at the top and look at the examples. It really is easy once you understand. Also one thing I found that helped me is to say the word outloud as it will help you to “hear” it. If you have hear enough Japanese things will sound right and wrong.

u-verbs with final う, つ, and る(remember some u-verbs end in る) Drop the last character and add って
-> あって
つか -> つかって
てつだ -> てつだって
-> たって
-> まって
-> もって
-> とって
すわ -> すわって
はい -> はいって

u-verbs with final む, ぶ, and ぬdrop the last character and add んで.

あそ-> あそんで
やす ->やすんで
-> すんで
-> しんで

u-verbs ending with く should drop く and add いて. With only one exception いく it is always いって.

-> きいて
-> かいて
-> はいて

u-verbs ending with ぐ drop the ぐ and add いで.

いそ -> いそいで

u-verbs ending in す drop the す and add して.

かえ -> かえして
-> けして

Please take notice of how much is involved in u-verbs and don’t be scared. When I first saw them I was like “WTF???” though after writing them down quite a bit and going through other verbs to figure them out I really understand them a lot better. My suggestion is practice them quite a bit until you won’t forget. It looks daunting, but after you get started you really start to see hmmm this doesn’t look so bad at all.

I hope this helps if I can help explain anything any better please let me know.

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